What’s one way to justify those gaming sessions that are so long and endless, you hardly even notice it turned from day to night? By making money off your epic campaigns and turning your hobby into cold, hard cash. So many gamers are under the impression that you have to be at the top of the leaderboards, equipped with the best tech, in order to become a professional streamer—but that’s far from the truth. I’ve already talked about Steam’s In-Home Streaming service, and how my dinosaur of a laptop totally crushed my orc battle with scarcely a stutter, but what if you want to stream on another platform?
Good news, friends: you can still become a professional streamer without forking over thousands of dollars to become the next Ninja, backed by a sea of fans eager to watch you tune in and game on. Stop using your busted tech as an excuse that’s keeping from the joining the ranks of elitist pros. Whether you’re just learning how to play Apex Legends or you’ve followed Saint’s Row for over a decade, here’s what you need to live stream your action, gain a massive following, and earn some income while you’re at it.
- Streaming account – This sounds a little
obvious, I’m sure, but we’re covering all of our bases here. All you need to
start off is a free
Twitch account to share your gameplay and show off your skills to the
world. Pro tip: If you want to make it big in the scene, you should give your
username some thoughtful deliberation. Choose something memorable and easy to
get behind—you’ll have an easier time building a following.
- Decent hardware – Howdo you prefer to play? If you’re a PC
player, the Windows OS is typically better, but you can stream off a Mac, too.
You’re also going to get better quality streaming off a desktop than a laptop,
but going mobile is still doable with the right specs. Again, you don’t need to
bust your budget on your hardware; at least 8GB of RAM and an Intel core i5
processor (or its AMD equivalent) will do the trick. Once you get enough
subscribers and start monetizing your
gameplay, you can shell out the big bucks for better graphics and a faster
When setting up your equipment—regardless of whatever you’re playing on—consider picking up a camera and microphone. You can technically get by with a gaming headset, but your viewers need to be able to hear you clearly, and witnessing faces light up superimposed over intense gameplay is what makes watching live streams so much fun. For better content, hook your audience up with a Spotify playlist for gamers and prepare for more and more fans to subscribe to your feed.
- Streaming software – One of the most
important pieces in your streaming toolkit is the software you use to broadcast
your gameplay to the World Wide Web. Open Broadcasting Software (OBS) is free
to use, but the true pros upgrade to XSplit—the
awesome features and intuitive interface are totally worth the price of the
Can I stream gameplay off my console? Yes, yes you can. All you Xbox One and PS4 fans out there will be pumped to hear about Microsoft and Sony joining hands, sharing new technology, and building better tools for developers and content creators. While they work on cloud solutions for the future, you can currently stream off the Xbox app and PlayStation Now platform.
True success in professional videogaming is about more than just your rig, though. You can have the shiniest, most expensive tech out there—with a beast of a processor, buttery smooth graphics, and ridiculously high frames per second (fps)—but none of that matters without skill and a bit of spunk.
The most popular (and well-paid) professional videogame streamers are bubbling with personality that draws their viewers in, as well as top-tier talent that keeps mesmerized eyes glued to draw-dropping battle scenes. If you have a favorite streamer you love to watch, you know the heart-pumping adrenaline I’m talking about! So, sit back, get comfortable, and practice, practice, practice!